Bajrang Punia, the Indian freestyle wrestler returned to action following the COVID-19 pandemic break and was crowned the FloWrestling title, winning $25k in Austin, Texas.
Bajrang Punia wins the FloWrestling tournament in Texas
Bajrang Punia took part in the 8-man bracket tournament in 150lbs(68kg) category alongside, James Green, Jordan Oliver, Evan Henderson, Alec Pantaleo, Anthony Ashnault, Bryce Meredith, and Pat Lugo.
$25,000 went to the winner, $15,000 to the runner-up, $10,000 to the third-place finisher, $5,000 to the fourth-place finisher, and $1,000 to the first-round losers.
Punia is one of the only four Indian wrestlers to have secured a place for Tokyo Olympics. He defeated the two time world championship medallist James Green of USA 8-4 in the final to emerge victorious in the $25,000 event.
Your winner of the 8-Man Challenge and taking home $25,000, Bajrang Punia.
— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) December 19, 2020
This is was the first time in ten months Punia took part in a competitive tournament. This win would give him a huge confidence boost.
The Asian Games Gold Medalist did not participate in the ongoing Individual Wrestling World Cup in Belgrade, in order to train for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in the United States of America.
Upon his huge victory in Texas, the Indian wrestler took to Twitter and reflected on his win.
He wrote: “Glad with my performance & happy to start on a winning note after such a long break due to the pandemic. Thank you all for the love, support & blessings.”
Check out the Tweet below:
Glad with my performance & happy to start on a winning note after such a long break due to pandemic. Thank you all for the love, support & blessings !!! 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/N1soHaMwtS
— Bajrang Punia 🇮🇳 (@BajrangPunia) December 19, 2020
Punia put up a great performance in the final bout against James Green. The 26-year-old was down by 2-4 at some point during the first half of the bout. But he managed to make a astounding comeback.
In the early brackets, the Indian grappler defeated Pat Lugo in a 6-1 contest and swept off Anthony Ashnault in a straight 9-0 win in the next round and that win was enough to take him to the final.
Punia is set to face USA’s Olympic hopeful Zain Retherford on December 22 in an one-off event. The two back-to-back events are a part of the ongoing month-long training stint in the USA. He believes it is a great way to shake off the ring rust.
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